You've surely heard about crazy cows. Even if it caught you in childhood, you have probably heard comparisons to the ebola or the flu A. Why was Europe so afraid of this threat of epidemic? How does the feeding of the cows influence it? Read on if you want to discover the secrets of this disease.

Where do mad cows come from?

La sale of brazilian beef a China It has been interrupted after two cases of mad cows were detected in the South American country. After what happened in Wuhan, it is understandable that health alerts are being taken more and more seriously. As in many other cases, this is an animal disease capable of making the leap to humans. But ... is it so dangerous?

The first thing to clarify is that the biochemical process that leads to this is not very clear. neurodegenerative disease. The scientific consensus points to a protein call prion as the cause. A normal one would mutate into a harmful Orion. As a consequence, the cow develops a disease that leads to lose coordination and even aggressiveness. After the first symptoms, the animal dies in a few months. What is dangerous for human health is that symptoms take between four and six years to appear. When it is detected it may already be late.

crazy cows

The conditions of factory farming facilitated the appearance and spread of the disease / Source: Pixabay

How are cows infected?

Of not being subjected to veterinary checks, gives time for the disease to progress and even pass to people. There are occasions when it is proven that the cow had the disease of the crazy cows by examining her tissue after death. It is essential to detect which ones had it to prevent other outbreaks. The form of contagion is somewhat peculiar. It is common for industrial livestock to prepare feed with the pulverized remains they did not eat the cows.

If some of this powder comes from infected cows, it is likely that the cow that ingests it will develop the disease. To make matters worse, humans could become infected by eating infected meat. Specifically of the variant Creutzfeld-Jakob of the illness. It was for this reason that panic broke out in Europe in 1996 over the fear that an epidemic would spread across the continent from British meat. This country had 200.000 head of cattle infected! It did not arrive in Spain until 2000.

risk in red meat

Sanitary controls on meat have been increased / Source: Pixabay

Luckily the matter was left in a false alarm, of which the health authorities got used to before the Covid-19. The FDA (US Food and Drug Administration.) figures the total of infected during the last twenty years in Per people. Unfortunately, none of them survived. Since then, Spain and the rest of the West have tightened their controls regarding animal health. Let's hope the alert of the nineties is never repeated.

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